Our mission is to protect the habitat of Puget Sound tidelands from the underregulated expansion of new and intensive shellfish aquaculture methods. These methods were never anticipated when the Shoreline Management Act was passed. They are transforming the natural tideland ecosystems in Puget Sound and are resulting in a fractured shoreline habitat. In South Puget Sound much of this has been done with few if any meaningful shoreline permits and with limited public input. It is exactly what the Shoreline Management Act was intended to prevent.

Get involved and contact your elected officials to let them you do not support aquaculture's industrial transformation of Puget Sound's tidelands.

Governor Inslee:

Monday, August 21, 2023

USFWS/Dept of Interior Lawsuit


Groups Sue USFWS For Failure to Protect the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge 

Thank you for your support and concern about the proposed industrial-shellfish operation in the DNWR in Sequim WA.

 On August 17, Protect the Peninsula’s Future (PPF) was joined by The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat and the WA D.C. national organization Beyond Pesticides in a legal action to hold the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) accountable to follow its regulations and protect the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. We are represented by the Seattle WA law firm Bricklin and Newman https://www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/PR_8.18.23_%20Groups%20Sue%20U.S.%20Interior%20Department%20to%20Protect%20the%20Dungeness%20National%20Wildlife%20Refuge%20from%20Industrial%20Aquaculture.pdf

The August 17 federal complaint, submitted to the United States District Court For The Western District of Washington, states that the USFWS must “take action that is required by the Refuge Improvement Act and conduct a compatibility determination and require a special use permit for a proposed industrial aquaculture use” that will abut and impact the Refuge.  Plainly, the compatibility determination would decide whether this industrial- shellfish operation is compatible with the mission of the Refuge.

The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson. The Refuge provides habitat, a preserve, and breeding grounds for more than 250 species of birds and 41 species of land animals. The shellfish operation lease is for 50 acres of Washington State bottomlands. 34 acres would be covered with up to 80.000 plastic grow-out bags of non-native shellfish spat, staked into the bottomlands and potentially killing all marine life underneath and snaring wildlife in the netting. These plastic bags will cover the primary feeding grounds for the birds, essentially starving them as they peck through the plastic trying to reach nutrients. This operation would shift the natural year-round-sediment drift, moving the sediment into and covering the eelgrass beds - beds protected for rearing salmon for whales and nourishment for particular migratory ducks. To protect the birds, the area is closed to the public during the migratory bird season.  However the USFWS will allow the shellfish operation in to the area all year long to the detriment of the birds. Please see this publication for further detail. https://www.ehn.org/dungeness-national-wildlife-refuge-oyster-2660613389.html

Now we need your help in two ways.  First, please circulate this to your friends and family so they are aware of what is at risk to this public land maintained at taxpayers’ expense.

Second, please make a financial donation to support this legal action at any amount comfortable for you. Your donation is tax deductible. Protect the Peninsula’s Future is a federally recognized 501c3 non-profit.   

Checks can be sent to PPF,  PO Box 421,  Sequim WA  98382.

Donations through PayPal can be made here:  https://www.protectpeninsulasfuture.org/donate/   

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

 Permit Hearing: 1 p.m. August 9 at 411 N. 5th Street in Shelton

Floating Oyster Farm Hearing in Mason County's Oakland Bay, WA
50 acres of navigable water and tidelands is needed for a 9 acre floating oyster farm.
August 9 a permit hearing on a proposal by Taylor Shellfish to create a 9 acre floating oyster farm requiring a 50 acre lease in south Puget Sound's Oakland Bay will occur. While presented as "only" 9 acres, Taylor Shellfish has said due to drifting of the structure, lines and anchors, a 50 acre area of public subtidal tidelands and navigable waters is required.
To date, 49 comments have been received with 43 of those being opposed. Impacts to native marine life, the public's use of navigable waters, and plastic pollution are only a few of the concerns expressed.
On Mason County's web site, Taylor's response to those comments has been a litany of past studies used to support a variety of industrial shellfish farms, dismissal of others as not being important (e.g., Friends of Burley Lagoon don't know anything about Oakland Bay, so their concerns are not relevant), and the belief that giving access to 16 acres tidelands in other parts of Oakland Bay, only exposed during a small portion of the day, is sufficient mitigation to offset the loss of the 50 acres of navigable waters Taylor needs.
[See Mason County's web site and permit documents here: https://masoncountywa.gov/hear.../Taylor-Shellfish/index.php ]
In addition to attending in person, the hearing will also be available on Mason WebTV.
[Find Mason WebTV here: https://masonwebtv.com/ ]
Through a series of delays, Taylor Shellfish has had ample opportunity to review concerns submitted and develop what they feel are sufficient responses to them. Coupled with time spent developing shoreline regulations which are favorable to industrial shellfish farm development, citizens who are concerned have an uphill climb.